Accidents involving commercial trucks can be complex and devastating affairs, with all too many instances resulting in major personal injury to the victims. With the potential for a lawsuit against those responsible, the question arises: who is liable for your personal injury? Is it solely the driver of the truck, or should you also look to the trucking company that employed them? Understanding this can be crucial to obtaining justice and compensation. In this article, we will explore these concepts further and help you uncover who is liable in an accident involving a commercial truck.
Vicarious Liability and Negligence
When it comes to determining liability for a commercial truck accident, two legal concepts come into play: vicarious liability and negligence. Vicarious liability applies when someone else is held responsible for the actions of another person or entity. In this context, the trucking company that employed the driver may be held accountable in certain circumstances even if they did not directly cause the accident. Negligence, meanwhile, involves determining whether the driver or company was careless or reckless in their actions and therefore should be held liable.
The driver of a commercial truck has a responsibility to operate their vehicle safely and abide by all relevant regulations set forth by federal and state laws. This means driving defensively, following speed limits, avoiding distractions such as cell phone usage while driving, properly maintaining their vehicle according to manufacturer instructions, and adhering to rest periods as mandated by law. If it can be proven that any of these responsibilities were not upheld and the consequences resulted in an accident and injury, then it is likely that the driver alone will be held liable for damages.
Companies who employ drivers must also take steps to ensure their vehicles are maintained properly according to federal safety regulations. This includes conducting regular inspections of vehicles so that any potential issues can be caught early on, before they lead to an accident. Companies found negligent in this regard may face serious penalties for failing to uphold their duty of care towards employees and other motorists on the road.
A company can also have direct liability for the negligent hiring, training, monitoring, and supervision of a driver. Knowing beforehand that a driver has breached the duty of care to other drivers can make a claim for the above negligence strong.
Even if a company had no direct liability, it can be held responsible for the actions of an employee vicariously. Under the common law liability theory of respondeat superior, an employer can be held responsible for the actions of its employees performed during the course of their employment.
Proving Liability After an Accident Involving a Commercial Vehicle
In order to determine liability after an accident involving a commercial truck has occurred, evidence must be presented that demonstrates fault on either side – whether it is with the driver’s negligence or the company’s failure to uphold its responsibilities towards its drivers and customers alike. This evidence can include witness testimonies regarding what happened leading up to and during the incident itself; inspection records showing maintenance issues with the truck; traffic camera footage; and medical records documenting injuries sustained by those involved in the crash.
Ultimately it is important to remember that you have rights as a victim of a commercial truck-related accident – regardless of who ends up being found at fault for your personal injury woes. Understanding who is liable for damage caused by commercial trucks can help you seek justice following an unfortunate accident in which you were hurt due to another party’s mistake or carelessness.
Contact Our Truck Accident Injury Team Today
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Get a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney at Dempsey, Roberts & Smith by calling (702) 388-1216. We are here to answer any questions you have about our firm, your case, or the legal process of personal injury claims.